summer of '98

We had a bittersweet experience in Portugal...

It was the and we (me and other 7very nice guys! Valentina, Gianluca, Daniela, Enzo, Pasquale, Bruno and Lia) decided to take a trip to Portugal, without a reservation, with just the airplane tickets and with no idea of what we were going through...

Pensao Campos, Lisbon (Pensao Campos (Residencial) **, Rua Jardim do Regedor, 24, 1150 LISBOA, Tel.(01)3462864) . That was our first stop, after too many hours of searching. NEVER go to Lisbon in August and without an hotel (or any other accomodation) reservation: all those Hotels and 'Pensao' of the capital are really full in that period...and so it comes easy to catch the first uncomfortable and dirty Pensao at hand.

Dirt, hot and 'extreme comfort' apart, Lisbon left us a bitter sensation mostly imputable to all the confusion, unfriendly faces, disorganization and missing structures we found. I know some would find this strange, having often thought to Lisbon as a facinating, historical and attractive city, but our experience was really different from this. I know we went there just when the whole nation was prepairing the EXPO event (many streets and squares and buildings were under construction), but the impression was that Lisbon lives just a couples of decades behind the western industrialised World...behind and not apart (as someone would say)!

Sintra was the best place we visited around the capital, a great one I have to say. Sintra is one of the most delightful places to be found in Portugal, with its great geographical position and places to visit. Don't miss Sintra if you'll ever go to Portugal.

A great decision was the one to move to south, to Algarve, after 4 days in Lisbon. It was in Algarve that the trip turned into an holyday. By bus, obviously not that comfortable, we reached Lagos where, after have been triing with no results to rent an apartment (too expencives for us the few availables), we met the strangest place of the entire trip : the "Campo da Trindade" Camping, where we camp for abuot a week. So dirt, so filled up with bad faces, with no hot water (just few showers for the whole Camping)....and quite far from the center. But we all enjoided it, with all the experiences lived in those few days, the strange persons we met and the tam tam of the bongoes wakin' us every night to advice the Camping people that the Hascisc was there!

Apart from the exiting Camping, we loved Lagos, the best place in Portugal: nice beaches (and icy water), lot of night places and daily situations to have fun, a very very nice city center with the city walls reaching the sea...and so few money to spend.

We spent the last days of our holiday in Albufeira (a normal Camping this time), one of the best places for the nightlife lovers: even though none of us was a Tony Manero's kind of person, we found ourselves changing so many clubs every night, all nights, in streets that were only made up to scream, dance, drink and smoke. We enjoided it and had a lot of fun.

This was our bittersweet experience. And since I like sugar, next time I'll fly directly to Algarve.